Tuesday, November 05, 2019

What is a SET and why should I participate....


Nov 3   

What is SET?  SET stands for Simulated Emergency Test.  It’s an opportunity for participating ARES/RACES members and served agencies to practice those skills called upon during an actual emergency.  Objectives for a SET can vary from turning on and testing equipment up to and including staging a mock emergency with full deployment of assets from multiple agencies.

Why do a SET?  It is a great opportunity to knock the dust off plans, test them out, and identify future training opportunities.  Participants have a chance to figure out what works and do not work.  And most importantly, renew working relationships. 

Why should you participate?  Our partners and served agencies – from local through national; have expressed interest in continuing to improve our relationships and understand the role that Amateur Radio can play.  After all, when it does hit the fan, we will have to stand together in support of the mission to serve our communities.

What is the goal of the WGD Fall 2019 SET?  In a single word, communicate.  While the Division has had SETs in the past, we are breaking new ground by creating a coordinated effort to consolidate and share local situational awareness with our partners at the local level up through the Division level.  The sharing of information is important because it will help the section and division leadership coordinate resources within the division.  What we learn from this exercise will help all of us in the future.

How do you participate?  At the local level, ARES members will work with the Emergency Coordinators (EC) or Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC) in support of their local exercises.  These exercises may range from a staging of resources, local facility situational assessment, to training.  During the SET, partner agencies and ECs are asked to consolidate a Situational Assessment Report (example ICS-213 is here).  The assessment is a report of whether power is on, water, and sewage is operating.  Transmit the reports via Winlink or voice nets to the District Emergency Coordinators (DEC), the SEC (Winlink Address ARES-NTXSEC), and to the designated State Operations Center Winlink Address KT6CCG).  Traffic should also be sent using the HF nets between the cities/counties up to the regional entities using the Regional HF Nets, State ARES Nets, and HF Digital stations. 
Army MARS will be supporting the SET.  MARS operators are an integral part of the interoperability plan for amateur radio.  MARS Operators will be monitoring 60m Channel 5 (5403.5 kHz).
We strongly encourage participants to send reports via radio using winlink; however, sending via Telnet as an alternative is acceptable.  But it is important to test sending the reports using the radio because, during an event, the internet may not be available.
More information is available on the ARRLNTX.ORG website.

Anything Else?  ECs, DECs, SECs, and participating agencies are asked to send an after-action report no later than 20 November.  Include information about you and your teams participated in the exercise, what worked, what didn’t work, future training opportunities, and lessons learned. 
Thank you for participating.  I look forward to hearing all of you on the air!  Please have fun!

Greg Evans, K5GTX
sec @ arrlntx . org